• Timetables - offline flavor

  • Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.
Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman

  by STrRedWolf
 
I would contend that the corridor PDF schedules can be auto-generated. Given that I've made webcomic collection PDFs via building RTF files with Perl and running them through LibreOffice, or even using HTML... or even using Crystal Reports or Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services... it's more like a few hours to make a "rough" PDF that can be auto-built when they add more service.

I would also contend that if they can be auto-generated, then they can be put into better formats like ePub or Kindle's AZW3.
  by Literalman
 
When riding Amtrak (mostly on the Northeast Corridor) I want a timetable so I can see en route whether we are on time. If not, I may need a different commuter train connection or have to alert someone I plan to see later in the day.
  by BAR
 
Any updates on Amtrak PDF timetables? I tried to find timetables today at the Amtrak website but couldn't find any. Thanks for any help or suggestions.
  by BAR
 
Washington Park,

Thanks very much for the links, both of which worked fine. I will be making a note of them for reference and sharing with two other railfans who have been searching for them as well.

BAR
  by Train60
 
Literalman wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 8:31 pm When riding Amtrak (mostly on the Northeast Corridor) I want a timetable so I can see en route whether we are on time. If not, I may need a different commuter train connection or have to alert someone I plan to see later in the day.
This is a useful site if you want to check to see how your train is doing according to the schedule,
https://asm.transitdocs.com/
  by rcthompson04
 
Even SEPTA has prepared PDF timetables and printed them. SEPTA!
  by STrRedWolf
 
I probably touched on this earlier in this thread, but given timing being in a central system, it would only take a programmer 24 hours (3 business days) to research, code, and test an automated schedule generator.
  by eolesen
 
I'd bet that over 99% of the printed timetables for Amtrak went to railfans vs paying customers. Having a PDF, even one generated on the fly seems to have the same value proposition.

As a traveler, I'd much rather see investment in an app that can give me the operational ETA of a train in motion based on real-time inputs and the past 7 -21 days actual performance. That's value. It's probably also something Amtrak has as data points for managing their own resource planning....



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  by wigwagfan
 
I'm still trying to reconcile the arguments "Amtrak is turning away passengers because they aren't printing timetables" and "Amtrak is turning away passengers because the trains are so full".

Meanwhile my state DOT that sponsors my Amtrak service is saying ridership is down 90% even though train schedules are only down 30%...
  by danib62
 
Yea, I don't think the lack of printed timetables is impacting ridership in 2021.
  by Ken W2KB
 
eolesen wrote: Wed Nov 17, 2021 7:52 pm I'd bet that over 99% of the printed timetables for Amtrak went to railfans vs paying customers. Having a PDF, even one generated on the fly seems to have the same value proposition.

As a traveler, I'd much rather see investment in an app that can give me the operational ETA of a train in motion based on real-time inputs and the past 7 -21 days actual performance. That's value. It's probably also something Amtrak has as data points for managing their own resource planning....



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Absolutely. Most folks today other than we railfans and rail advocates don't easily read or even understand timetables, too much information, and don't want all that unnecessary info in most cases. They simply want to plug into the website or application I want to go from A to B at approximately X time and see what is available. And the same with airline flights. Heck, if I want to take NJT from High Bridge to Newark or New York, I use the NJT site and plug in the stations to see when the trains operate. That said, I like to read timetables, but I now rarely use them. I plan to travel next month from Newark, NJ to Washington, DC to attend the all volunteer operated World Science Fiction Convention ("Worldcon") and when I booked my Amtrak travel a few days ago, that is exactly what I did. Coach Silver Star to DC and return 6 days later on business class Acela Express. No need to look at a timetable.
  by electricron
 
Newark NJ to Washington DC has 22 Amtrak trains a day for a trip time of less than 3 hours.
So having a web site pick the cheapest train around the time you wish to travel makes sense.
But that web site choice does not give you track miles, nor schedule time of arrival for intermediate cities, nor where longer station stops will occur, and other data you might want to know.
Try Lake Charles LA to Del Rio TX, a train per direction 3 times a week, two longer station stops. Imagine your surprise when you select a date the Sunset Limited does not run. Will you recognize that the date you wish to travel is not amongst the choices presented? That is a data point easily recognizable on a timetable.
I'll admit I really like calculating the average speed of my trains, and that track miles data is required to calculate it, and that the web site choice page does not provide that data point. So I really do miss timetables and/or schedules.
  by eolesen
 
I'll admit I miss reading the TV guide that used to come in the Sunday newpaper.... but I'm still a lot happier with the online guide for my satellite receiver.
  by STrRedWolf
 
I think in this case there are people who, for whatever reason, ask for a printed schedule:
  1. The Amish, of course.
  2. Those who want to plan their trip, and need to see it "off-screen" as a way to help them focus
  3. Us enthusiasts :wink:
I think the national schedule needs to be printed. The local schedules can be PDF'ed/ebook'ed and print-on-demand.